February 3, 2021

“Requiem of a Thursday,” by Luca Agostini

“Requiem of a Thursday,” by Luca Agostini

Steffan looks up at me, a cone of light following his gaze. He is wearing a miner’s headlamp and I can’t shield my eyes in time. I have already drunk too much and the Ketamine is starting to kick in. The music thudding from behind the closed door of the narrow bathroom seems that much further, dripping through the concrete walls of the 1960s East Berlin Platte where the party is. I rub my eyes, the cone of light still fixed on me. Is it gone? Yes, the cone has moved. I am relieved as Steffan’s earnest, slanted face looks up at me as if emerging from the black depths of an ocean, his face ghostly and shimmering in the light. I want to lean forward, to break the surface of the blackness around him, but I…

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February 1, 2021

“Shush Please,” Poetry and Art by Tamizh Ponni

“Shush Please,”  Poetry and Art by Tamizh Ponni

Shush please        On a cold winter night  I lay in the comfort of soft blankets and cushy pillows  The non-stop titter-tatter against all tangibles  mercilessly broke my hard-earned slumber  Sliding and slithering over and over   Crystalline droplets raced on the glassy tracks  without much caution or trepidation.  The uncoiled skeins of climatic emotions  were desperate to bring glee into doldrums.  I woke up, sat up and stayed up  leaning towards the window pane, listening to their tantrums  All night in silence, eyes closed, ears open  It was a performance that clamoured for attention  from lonely souls and midnight owls.  I wish it came with a volume control  The loud clatter and yellow lights, were acting like partners in crime  brutally stirring up memories of good times  Days that could not be reclaimed  Nights and people…

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January 28, 2021

Mbizo Chirasha – My First Year as Poet-in-Residence

Mbizo Chirasha – My First Year as Poet-in-Residence

Time has legs: it walks and of course it runs. Somewhere in the cybernetic land of the brave, America, a trailblazing coffee shop is situated, born from assortments of poetry biscuits, flash fiction soups that wink likea jolt of rainforest lightning. The Fictional Café, a buffet of literary commentary and steaming cups of cappuccinos,the sweet aroma of words waft through its glowing virtual walls,  beckoning and satiating all sure creatives.Inside the Café, you are welcomed by a band of poetry baristas. I joined the Fictional Café as the Poet in Residence and the greatest blessing is a myriad of my experimental writings have been serialized, featured, and published within its digital pages.  Jack B. Rochester and your team of literary champions:I salute you for the Poet in Residence position and for your confident investmentin my writings and mutual collaborative efforts.  ***…

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January 25, 2021

Mark Parsons – Poetry in Pieces

Mark Parsons – Poetry in Pieces

Leg  Panel the color of raw  steak discoloring  once it’s exposed to the air  slides on its runner, crosscutting fibres  bunched into fascicles sheathed with elastin  that shift like amoebas, contract, clinch,  then dilate again.  Panel  after panel,  runners underfoot and  thickness of panels decreasing.  A click,  something catches.  Or caught,  something releases  and scrapes to the opposite wall.  This fleshly corridor  can’t go on much longer:  the panels can get no thinner.  The thought of hiding  once I’m out,  the reason not to hide.  Never did I present agoraphobia,  or tendencies . . . say,  vampiric.  No symptoms of anemia.  Never was a bleeder,  in any sense.  I have to keep my nerve.  It’s all that separates me from  my surroundings.  My leg  feels . . . feels like.  Prologue    Taking life  one rescue  animal  at…

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January 18, 2021

“The Interruption,” A Short Story by Jason Powell

“The Interruption,” A Short Story by Jason Powell

Each time is the same as before, but each time feels new. He and Grace hold hands in the hallway and stare at Destiny through the streakless glass. Grace chose the name and to see it written on that little plastic band in official type makes her happy. And why shouldn’t she be? The delivery went great. Destiny is perfect.  Everything is perfect. Well, maybe not “perfect.” It’s true, Destiny was unplanned. True, he and Grace don’t have their own place to bring her home to. True Grace’s parents are actively unsupportive of their child and her teenage boyfriend bringing another child into the world. But none of that matters. Grace and Destiny are happy and healthy. That’s what matters. This moment matters. He wishes he could slow time down and stay in this moment…

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January 11, 2021

Maziar Karim – The Poetry of Pondering

Maziar Karim – The Poetry of Pondering

1. back home    every morning   alley swallow me   and the city  digest me  I know  in this swarm  the night puke me  and I will back home again       2. empty rifles     rifle opening   is not scary  when every morning  with toothless mouth flowing   and at the night  with empty rifles   back home      3.   no name    cervix  was the beginnings  and crater  was the end of big bang?  I wish instead galaxy  we observed human      4. curved universe    Cloud mass of black whole  it bends the galaxy  the sun  it bends the earth  leaf  it bends aunt’s feet   and pain  it bends human’s feet  we haven’t been guilty   we just born  in the curved universe        5. Human     Human is a cosmic   Between two kisses   and a hug       6. To levitate    To fall  and…

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January 6, 2021

“The Witness” A Short Story by Derrick R. Lafayette

“The Witness” A Short Story by Derrick R. Lafayette

I spent the entire day in bed staring at the white ceiling. If you stare at it long enough, it begins to sweat. Mother always said I was an “overthinker.” When she remembered me, before Alzheimer’s. Before the inevitable change where we all wither. I never believed it until now.  I scrolled through my phone searching for the app that controls my life. Since my remote’s been lost in the abyss of my apartment, I needed it to tune in and tune out. It was an ungodly hour. I could tell from the pulsating tangerine glow of the streetlights on my white curtain blinds. During particular times in the night, they malfunctioned. I used to think microscopic cameras were inside snapping pictures of me. Aliens sending morse code. Or, that I was subconsciously controlling it with my mind, trying to send myself a message from within. A myriad of paranoid fantasies. I take pills now. I’m better now. I don’t think as much. …

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December 29, 2020

“Prince of Satan,” A Short Story by Mbizo Chirasha

“Prince of Satan,” A Short Story by Mbizo Chirasha

A solitary baboon barked throughout the night. The barking sound was the stitch between silence and darkness. Dogs never barked to anything. Owls were ironically trapped in their dark nests. Dawn arrived unexpectedly. My father coughed from the pit of his lungs. My skin tightened because his cough was deep. His incessant loud snores disturbed the silence. Fingers of the sun soon filtered into my torn blanket. Intense heat pricked my whip-lashed back. I felt an irritating pain inside me. I sneaked out of my night trap with a bold start and peeped into the real world through the crevices of my rondavel. I couldn’t believe my innocent eyes. Just outside, next to river, stray dogs whined and snarled amid a leisurely sexual act. I made an embarrassed laughter. They danced in their act as…

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December 27, 2020

“Pirate Ayanna and the Seagulls,” by KJ Hannah Greenberg

“Pirate Ayanna and the Seagulls,” by KJ Hannah Greenberg

Ayanna, who was already an old salt, licked her right paw. The Curse of the Abandoned Scallywags had visited her. She next licked her left paw and then looked across the boat to the crow’s nest on the mainmast. If only she had believed Cook, she might not be limping.  He had warned the crew, after they had dragged him out of the sea, about the curse. More exactly, he had scolded them, while he shook water out of his fur, heedless of who was standing nearby, that blaspheming another soul would bring retribution in the form of conveyance. More explicitly, as he had sucked down the first mug of rum given to him, Cook had declared that whoever spoke words of affliction, upon the furry head of another, would cause their merits to relocate to that other feline and would cause that other feline’s woes to transfer to them.  At the time, the assembled cats had laughed and had patted Cook on the back, all the while suggesting that his brain was as waterlogged as was his coat. After refilling his mug and throwing a blanket to him, they had returned to their duties. None had paid full attention to his jabbering. …

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December 20, 2020

Umi and Mori Haikus by Julie Brinson

Umi and Mori Haikus by Julie Brinson

Six Umi and one Mori Haiku    following bright sun  alone, he surfs a strong wave  with a young dolphin    seen in clear water  bright life on a coral reef  illumination                                     a tiny seahorse  sleeps in tropical sea grass  and moonlight falls down    drifting on currents  wishes lost in old bottles  many horizons    in cold waters deep  sad songs of the lonely whales  mourning lost ones loved    sea salted sands  shift into the greens and blues  then the yellow sun      bright sun warms noon day  overripe apples hang low  –sticky, drunken bees    *** Julie Brinson has previously published random poetry in numerous independent, underground literary magazines and journals in the 1990s. She has written various Internet articles and essays in the years since.   Two short poetry collections: Courage…

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